This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Monday, April 13, 2015

getting ready for bees

I have collected all my bee equipment. Jacket, hat, smoker, boxes, inserts etc. Yesterday I painted the boxes. White and two shades of green. Next I'll position the boxes down by my garden and make sure the sprinklers don't hit them. I have two packages of bees arriving next Monday.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

anxious to hear how it goes.

April 14, 2015 5:02 AM

Anonymous EmsyDoodle said...

I'm really interested to read how your beekeeping goes. We're planning on getting bees next year and are looking at the best positioning for our garden to avoid disrupting the neighbors or being in the way of sprinklers and the dogs.

Can't wait to read more!

April 14, 2015 10:35 PM

Anonymous Connie Murray said...

Very exciting! Have never kept bees. Would like to hear how that goes. Did you get conventional hives or are you trying the new Flowhive that I keep reading about?

April 16, 2015 7:26 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I thought a long time about where to put the boxes. I liked them down by the garden originally. Then I heard about fungal diseases in my class and thought they should be up on higher ground. The teacher recommended high ground. The garden is almost at pond-level and mists and damp air do gather there.

I'm also trying to keep them out of the way for my husband who has developed reactions from wasps. Not systemic, just serious swelling. But I don't want him going near the boxes.

So then I thought about putting them on the wooded slope above my garden. That would be really out of the way. But decided "no" as it is too wooded for light and it would be really hard for me to get the wheel barrow in and up there. We'd need to build a little bridge over a small creek and level a path. Nope.

So considered my mini-orchard next. Don't know why I didn't go with that. But again its on a steep slope. Access and flattening a path would not be hard to do. It probably gets better morning sun than my garden.

And maybe the best area would be my front yard. Flat accessible, good morning sun. High up above the pond.

I just like the look of the hives down by my garden. And I love the idea of them pollinating my vegetables. If dampness is a problem, I'll move them to another spot next year.

April 16, 2015 8:26 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Connie, I have regular old conventional hives, plastic frames. I've heard about the Flowhive, and my very conservative teacher thinks they are great. But there's a lot to know and learn in bee keeping. I took this 10 hour course and still feel like I could take another 10 hours to get it all straight. I think I just have to get started and prefer to do that with a conventional approach. I think I'll need a few years to "get into it", then I'll think about whether I want to use a different approach.

I am most worried about diseases and keeping my queens alive. There are so many problematic bee diseases now. And they change every few years. My teacher uses and recommends serious mite treatment methods. Local beekeepers seem to recommend a more naturalistic approach with the view that chemicals are the problem, including plastic in the hive and feeding the bees refined sugar.

So where to start? I'm just jumping in (jumping of the cliff?) and seeing how it goes.

April 16, 2015 8:35 AM

Blogger David said...

Don't worry about them missing your garden. They will travel miles to get nectar so unless your apiary is miles away from your house I am sure you'll be fine. Also in response to your nature vs. chemical debate. If you go natural you will lose bees in the winter. Take that in account.

April 20, 2015 4:52 PM

Anonymous joseph muita said...

Really waiting to see the progress.Would you be facing any problems related to attacks on bees by ants

May 29, 2015 5:21 AM


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